Journalist leaves Afghanistan after historic interview with Taliban


right after the Taliban take or not power Afghanistan, television anchor Beheshta Arghand made history by becoming the first woman to interview a spokesperson for the group on national television.

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At 23, Beheshta was on the staff of journalists for TOLO, an Afghan news network, when she was surprised by a Taliban member in the studio asking to be interviewed. The live interview made headlines around the world.

“Fortunately I always wear long clothes in the studio because we have different people with different minds,” the young woman told Reuters in Doha, Qatar’s capital, where she has lived since fleeing Afghanistan on Aug. 24 with the help of Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai .

The nationally televised interview is part of a Taliban campaign to show a more moderate side of the group. They pledged to respect women’s rights and include other Afghan factions in a power deal.

Despite this, Beheshta said the group had ordered all women to wear hijabs and subsequently all anchors to be suspended from broadcasters. She also reported that the Islamic group had asked local media to stop talking about the government’s fall.

Many of her colleagues had already left Afghanistan at that time, despite the Taliban saying media freedom would be guaranteed and women would have access to education and work.